Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"What! You Too?"

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:  “What! You too?  I thought I was the only one.” C. S. Lewis

Recently, I had lunch with one of my new staff wives .  However, while we were discussing where to have lunch, we both commented that we hated making decisions no matter how big or small.  At the same time, we laughed and said, “What you too?”  With the fact that we hate making decision and that we are both chocoholics, we can firmly say our friendship is sealed.

It does take time to forge a friendship especially when you are ministry.  You must test the waters to see who can be trusted.  You must spend some time with the person to decide if this relationship could be of mutual encouragement or a toxic one. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have started investing in a friendship only to discover the person is simply using me to get the “inside scoop.”  I have walked away from a very toxic friendship with a fellow pastor’s wife because she was draining me of my joy in ministry.  Friendships should never seek to destroy or to get information for gossip.  Friendships are to build one another up through the good times and the difficult times. 

That is why I love it when I know a friendship is going to work out.  As we get to know one another, the discussion often comes around to silly questions or things that we do.  That is why I know my friendship is secure with my new staff wife.  We HATE making decisions.
I would love to hear your “What! You too?” friendship story.  As for my new friend, we did decide one thing at lunch today.  We will let someone else tell us where to have lunch next time.

Be Blessed!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Swimming Upstream in Treacherous Waters

As a minister’s wife, I often find myself in battles.  I fight a daily battle in limiting my chocolate intake.  I rage war against the daily duties of juggling home life, family life, and church life.  I wrestle against the ruler of the world for my spiritual life.  What happens when our plans for the day do not match God’s plan for our day?

Let’s break it down a minute and see if any of these scenarios sound familiar.  (Every one of these scenarios has happened to me). 

*You really want to travel out of country for a mission trip and start the paperwork.  A couple of weeks before the trip, you get sick or suffer an injury that keeps you at home.

*You work hard all day at your job and want a quiet evening at home.  Instead you spend your evening at the hospital with a sick church member or your child informs you that he/she has a huge project due the next day.

*You are in the midst of spring cleaning the house.  Closets are emptied and the contents on the floor.  Bed linens are washing.  There are boxes marked for Goodwill, trash, and keep in the living room.  In other words, the house is a mess.  The door bell rings.  You open it to find friends who are passing through town and have decided to come for a surprise visit.

To be quite honest, often I begin my day without seeking what the Lord might need me to do.  I simply start my day “swimming upstream” thinking I can manage the current.  Before long I am in some treacherous water.  My patience runs thin.  I am irritable with my family.  My stress level is at the explosion point. 

I am slowly learning that doing things my way is not the Lord’s way.  When I start my day without spending time with the Lord, I fight a never-ending spiritual battle.  While Satan pulls at me one way,  the Lord is calling me to surrender to Him.  Some days I am so in tune to the Lord that I can feel Him next to me.  On other days, I barely keep my head above the crushing waves of life.

As a pastor’s wife, I have discovered that when I am in those treacherous waters of life and doing my own thing, I can desperately utter the name of Jesus and He will throw me a rescue ring.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Prayers for Jamaica

My sisters, I would like to request your prayers for an upcoming mission trip to Jamaica that I plan to take along with my husband and youngest daughter. The Lord has once again given me an opportunity to go to this beautiful country, to the inland community of Linstead, to be used by the Lord to be a witness for Him.

I believe that our Father will indeed bless our time there, and that He will be honored and gloried through the entire mission trip team. I do have some specific requests that I would like for you, my sisters in Christ, to be praying for:

•Safe travel for all the members of the team coming from different parts of the state of Tennessee

•The Lord will prepare hearts as we go to various places in the Linstead community sharing the Gospel

•This will be a life changing experience for not only my daughter, but others who will be experiencing their first mission trip overseas

•We, as a collective team, will be a blessing to everyone that we encounter

•The Lord will be glorified in every presentation of the Gospel, every testimony, every sermon preached, and every act of service

Also, I am asking the Lord to truly do an impacting work in the hearts of two of our church members who will be a part of this mission trip team.

I am so excited about all that our Savior will accomplish as we go to another part of the world to serve others and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be witnesses for Him. To God Be the Glory for all that He will do in Jamaica!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pockets of Peace

A smile
A hug
A loving card or text message
An encouraging phone call
A small unexpected gift

What do these things have in common? I know them to be instant agents of joy that bring “pockets of peace” when I may be having a really, really bad day!

I define a “pocket of peace” as those seemingly insignificant things that the Lord drops into your day when you least expect it, but the impact that they have is priceless. We all have really, really bad days occasionally, even though we know that we belong to Christ and are secure in Him. At times, simply living life throws us curve balls, and we just don’t see them coming!

Yes, Jesus said that in this life we will have trouble, but He also told us to be encouraged because HE has overcome the world. Yes, the apostle Peter told us that we are to not think it strange when fiery trials come upon us, but he told us that we share in the sufferings of Christ and we are to rejoice. Yes, as Christians we are going to suffer, yet also the apostle Peter tells us that we are not to be ashamed in our suffering, but to glorify God.

Life can get very hard at times, but the one thing that I have come to rely on and appreciate more in my life is the peace of Christ as I am living through difficult situations. Before He went to the cross, Jesus told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27 Anything the world wants to give us pales in comparison to what our Savior can give. His peace is lasting, His peace is genuine, and His peace will melt away distress and fear in our hearts. I know that to be so true in my life, as I have experienced that very recently.

The apostle Paul urged us to,“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 Nothing can rip peace away from us like an anxious heart, a heart full of worry, doubt, fear, and unbelief. The best thing that I have found for calming a troubled heart is found in prayer, talking with my Father, through prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and petition, telling Him the things that are burdening my heart. When I do this, the promise found in Philippians 4:7 floods my mind and spirit, and I do experience a supernatural peace that is so incredible.

So when you are having a bad day, look for those “pockets of peace” that our Loving Father sends your way; receive them with joy. May the Lord use them to whisper to your heart, in a still small voice, that you are loved, perfectly and completely.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Until Next Time

You Never Know

You just NEVER know......

I know that you are like me and see death and sickness all around you.  It is everywhere.  BUT....lately, it just seems like we have experienced more and more strokes.

January 4th, one of  our 48 year old ladies suddenly could not feel her foot or legs and had tingling.  She called her doctor and he told her to go to the ER.  There they stablized her and sent her to a larger hospital, where they did an MRI.  The doctor read the MRI and came and to talk to her and her boyfriend.  In short, she was told she had a large navel orange size brain tumor.....and it was cancer.  They has gone threw radiation and chemo.........they did more tests and are giving hr 6 months to a year to live.

A week and half ago, the twenty year old cousin of our daughter-in-law  was rushed to the hospital and then airlifted to UT Hospital, where they found she had a large blood clot at the base of her brain.  They decided to try to dissolve it since surgery would be so dangerous  They were able to dissolve it and she is doing much better.

A week ago, a 42 year old daughter of our school janitor was found knocked out and non-responsive.  She was taken by ambulance to the hospital and then airlifted to a larger hospital.  She did not make it.  She left three children.

Sunday, more of our members Nanny had a massive stroke.  She is 81 years old and the doctors only gave her a 10% chance of surviving.  Today, she responded on command and even weakly said the word stroke when asked if she knew what happened to her.

It doesn't matter how old you are or how young you are.  It does not matter how rich or poor you are.  When it is your time for sickness or even death, there is nothing you can do.  

We should all strive to live our lives to the point that if Jesus came back today, we would be ready......because.........

You just Never Know.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The DOING Generation

We came back home a few weeks ago from the Bi-Vocational Council Retreat Planning Meeting, where we share, discuss and plan for the next retreat.

At the meeting, we discussed how the newer generation is a "doing generation" and not so much a "planning and discussing committee."


My generation grew up sitting around and planning and discussing the things we could do for the Lord.  Most activities and missions were successful because of weeks and months of planning and discussing.

Today's generation says to forget that!   They want to not talk about it but DO IT.

While that mentality is taking a bit of getting use to for some of us old is making a lot of sense.

An example of this is a couple of guys at our church felt lead to go to the inner city and play basketball with the project kids.  Now....since it is in Rockwood, that just means that they go down to the public, outdoor basketball courts and play ball with the project kids.  They have been ministering to them since the first of the year.  Many of these project kids do not have a father figure in their lives.  They play ball with the boys and minister to them.  Then, on Sundays, they pick them up and take them to church.  Even the older boys do not have cars or anything.

Since the first of the of those 14 year old boys accept Christ as his Savior, joined out church and was baptized.  An 18 year old had been out of church and started attending our church and joined.  Sunday, a 19 year old joined our church and will be baptized in a couple of weeks.  ALL because two guys felt the call and DID IT.  They did not sit around and plan or even discuss it.  They got up and DID IT.

Another example of this is....the young guy that joined our church Sunday morning, shared that it was a tough weekend for him because he lost his mother three years ago.  Tuesday, of this week, his dad was rushed to the hospital.  He had a heart attack and had a touch of pneumonia.  Yesterday they transported him to Oakridge for Heart Surgery.  Yesterday.....on the spur of the moment, our Young Married Couples class got together and literally threw together some quick meal for the young man and his teenage sister.  Now, my generation would think we had to cook up a nice meal and bake from scratch a dessert, etc.  These young ladies.....had several nights worth of meals whipped up in no time.  They made spaghetti and chicken casserole, etc.  Then they bought snacks and drinks for them.  Ta-Da........they saw a need.................threw it together.........and the FAMILY appreciated it very much.

Being at our church going on 19 years.....I love how the younger ones learn from the older ones.  BUT....I also love how the younger generation is teaching us to DO IT.